December 17th, 2016
This story began years ago at Newman Center on the campus of the University of Illinois. Kaitlyn and Tom met while living in the dorms when they started college. Little did they know then that this story would last a lifetime. They began dating and pushed each other to strive for perfection in everyday life and their schooling. Four years later, Tom proposed. They began their journey planning a beautiful wedding while both still in college. Tom finished his undergrad at U of I and went on to SIUE School of Medicine and Kaitlyn recently graduated early from the U of I with a nursing degree the NIGHT BEFORE her wedding! Talk about busy schedules! I admire their determination and hard work leading up to their wedding day! Despite the weather (we had just been hit with a winter storm that left us with nothing but ice!) everything was wonderful.
When I met with the girls that morning excitement was in the air. They were all hanging out in their matching flannels – even the flower girls had cute little flannel shirts! Sooner after, we left for the church. I had never been to St. John’s Catholic Chapel and it was jaw dropping to walk into! The Christmas setting was just what Kaitlyn + Tom had in mind. It held an extra special place in their hearts since this was the Chapel of the Newman center where they first met. It had come full circle, but it gets better! After the ceremony, we headed over to the quad where Tom proposed for a few portraits of the two of them AND where we took some of their engagement photos! The cold temperatures, ice, dwindling light, and strong winds made portrait time hard, but we were able to escape it for a bit when we headed downtown to the Hyatt Place for some portraits inside.
The reception space was gorgeous, and brought the Christmas spirit to life with decorated trees, cranberries in the centerpieces, and they even had ornaments for guests to sign as their guestbook! The pops of gold amongst all the deep red colors in the candlelight set the mood for the rest of the evening, as they danced the night away! And let me tell you, these two have MOVES! These two took dance lessons to prepare for this day and it was so fun to watch. A special shout out to DJ Ryan who kept the dance floor full all night long! It was fun to work with Holly (Holly Birch Photography) again as my second shooter and my hubby Brandon assisted us for the day! With Tom + Kaitlyn’s hard work ethic, passion, and determination, I know they have a wonderful life ahead of them as husband and wife. It was such an honor to capture these two on their wedding day and I hope we can all stay in touch!
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Thanks to those who made Tom + Kaitlyn’s day so special:
Ceremony: St. John’s Catholic Chapel
Reception: Hilton Garden Inn
Bridal Gown: Cloud Nine
Florist: Floral Design Studio
Cake: Cakes by Lori
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Wedding Rings: Bremer Jewelry
Hair: J Alex Salon
Makeup: Colleen Gorman
DJ: Ryan with Elite Bridal
Caterer: Hilton Garden Inn
Transportation: Elite Bridal Trolley